Articles tagged with revenue generator

ASBJ editor has a few suggestions for generating revenue, controversy

96px-SpaceneedleseattleWhew! What a relief. The Seattle Public Schools aren’t going to charge parents an “administrative fee” for donating money to their children’s schools.

Did you hear about that story? Someone in the school system apparently told parent groups that they might be charged a fee for the paperwork involved in handling money from the PTA and other parent groups.

Turns out, the brouhaha that followed was much ado about nothing. The school board says it knew nothing about the idea. And once parents began voicing their reaction, the central office quickly sent out word that such a fee “was not a productive suggestion.”

Okay. Somebody got ahead of himself (or herself). No big deal. Mistakes happen. Enough said.

And yet . . . I can’t help but think: Given the financial crunch facing so many school districts, perhaps such creative—nay, let’s say off-the-wall—ideas should be given more consideration.

So, trusting the Seattle school board has a sense of humor, I’ll share some of the ideas I’ve pondered in the last few days:

Naomi Dillon|March 25th, 2010|Categories: Governance, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , |

Soda, candy, fast food offer a taxing way to raise revenue

Before school boards started banning sodas from school cafeterias and hallways, perhaps they should have engaged in the kind of innovative thinking that we see on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

Many school boards saw sugary drinks as unhealthy for kids. So they banned soda sales during the lunch hour-or removed sodas entirely from their schools. And they willingly took a hit in lost revenue from their lucrative contracts with soda companies.

That’s beginning to look shortsighted. The U.S. Senate is looking at soda-and it’s seeing the issue from an entirely different perspective. It sees an unhealthy product that people “love to hate,” a state of affairs that federal lawmakers view as opening the door for an audacious new tax proposal.

The soda tax.

Admit it: This is brilliant. Senate leaders want to provide universal health care, and they’ve got to pay for it. They see that sugary drinks are “bad” for you-not much different from cigarettes. We don’t ban cigarettes because they’re bad for you. We just tax them-heavily. It’s a policy that allows us to assume the moral high ground, yet collect big bucks at the expense of nicotine addicts.

The Finance Committee hasn’t made up its mind, but it will be tempted to exploit Coke and Pepsi addicts. A 3-cent tax per soda could raise $24 billion over the next four years.

Naomi Dillon|May 14th, 2009|Categories: Student Achievement, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , , , |

Could student misdeeds be turned into district proceeds?

How can school officials bolster their troubled budgets in difficult economic times?

The answer is found in a recent United Press International (UPI) story about the arrest of a 14-year-old girl at a Wisconsin high school. After she was caught text messaging on her cell phone in class, police were called in. They cited her with disorderly conduct, a charge that carries a $298 fine.

That’s not a lot of money. But then I started thinking about the number of disciplinary issues that arise in the typical high school each year. And then I multiplied that figure by $300.

And it hit me. Don’t call parents to the principal’s office when a kid misbehaves. And forget about suspending students or sending them to a counselor when they have problems. The solution is to fine the little buggers every time they misbehave.

This could become the next big revenue stream for public education.

How big? Think about it: If text messaging in class is worthy of a $300 fine, how much could schools charge (er . . . levy a fine) for talking back to a teacher? Or throwing a spit wad?

Now, there are some practical obstacles to overcome. Currently, the policy and local courts have a monopoly on arresting people and levying fines. So some revenue-sharing deal would have to be negotiated.

But with millions of new dollars at stake, I can’t believe these fine institutions wouldn’t be open to a little quid pro quo.

Naomi Dillon|February 19th, 2009|Categories: Governance, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , |
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